PFW AW25 Haute Couture: Dior

WITH JUST over a month to go until the Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Maria Grazia Chiuri is carrying her own flame for Dior’s AW25 Haute Couture collection.

Naturally taking in the cultural swift of the city, with flags, souvenirs and sports merchandise dominating the fashion capital, the designer is taking this moment to continue her promise of celebrating female artists in the dialogue of design – with of course, a hint of Grecian history.

This time around, she employed the help of American activist and artist Faith Ringgold. The multi-media artist is famed for her series of political paintings in the 60s, titled American People, that vividly portrayed the civil rights movement occurring at the time – but her paintings displayed the horrors across interracial groups.

Taken by her lifelong work across various mediums like quilts in the 70s and books such as Tar Beach, the creative director began a dialogue between the two, until Ringgold’s passing earlier this year in April.

Scenography. Photograph: Adrien Dirand

Scenography. Photograph: Adrien Dirand

Setting the scene, Ringgold’s most prominent paintings, that question the perceptions of the African American identity and gender inequality, hang across the walls of the Musée Rodin. Employing the Chanakya ateliers and Chanakya School of Craft once again, the LA Subway Commission Mosaics were recreated by the India-based craftsmen who made 32 life-size mosaics that were revisited in the context of the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics.

With the surroundings catering to both the context of Paris and also Maria Grazia Chiuri’s wish to educate her younger audience through the lens of art history, AW25 couture balanced athleticism and femininity in an array contemporary interpretations.

Whilst the very idea of sportswear and couture couldn’t be more dissimilar, she chose to link the two through creating fully-embroidered tulle bodysuits with stripes and interwoven chains in black and white versions, with more a intricate version coming in a gold tulle with gradient cascade of lacquered and golden rooster feathers.

A more meet-in-the-middle interjection of the two notions was seen in Look 7 that combined an asymmetrical dress in jersey material that opened to show an embroidered sports-inspired tank top.

But its the more historic links that dominated the collection. Classic draping around the neck, pale gold and white fringes, and knee-high gladiator sandals all became core design motifs in the 61-looks.

The simplicity of AW25 couture put women first: freedom in silhouette, proportions that weren’t restricting and the idea that flats are the far superior mode of footwear. Together they once again answered the needs of a client rather than fed the eyes of a gazer.

I think that’s worthy of another gold medal for Maria Grazia Chiuri.

by Imogen Clark

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